It seems like every year publishers keep putting out more and more amazing books. Some books are written by familiar names, others from people I’ve never heard of before, and the rest by long-dead brothers and sisters whose works are getting another well-deserved edition for the umpteenth time.
This fall seems especially exciting. Below are the books I am looking forward to getting my hands on and my head around. I think these books have a great potential to edify me personally and better equip me for leading the church God has entrusted me with.
To be sure, I have no idea how I would read (or buy!) all of these by the end of the year. But then again, that’s what Christmas and New Year’s Resolutions are for, right?
The ESV Study Bible by Crossway
“The ESV Study Bible was created to help people understand the Bible in a deeper way—to understand the timeless truth of God’s Word as a powerful, compelling, life-changing reality. To accomplish this, the ESV Study Bible combines the best and most recent evangelical Christian scholarship with the highly regarded ESV Bible text. The result is the most comprehensive study Bible ever published—with more than 2,750 pages of extensive, accessible Bible resources.
With completely new notes, maps, illustrations, charts, timelines, and articles, the ESV Study Bible was created by an outstanding team of 93 evangelical Christian scholars and teachers. In addition to the 757,000 words of the ESV Bible itself, the notes and resources of the ESV Study Bible comprise an additional 1.1 million words of insightful explanation and teaching.”
What can I say here that I haven’t already said before on this blog? Buy this study Bible when it comes out! It will be one of the best investments you’ve ever made!
Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists by R. Albert Mohler
“Wanting to both inform and equip serious-minded Christians regarding this cultural shift, R. Albert Mohler Jr. explores the environment that has bred the “new atheism” while also introducing readers to the movement’s four leading thinkers and the contours of their arguments. Mohler—deemed “the reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the US” by Time magazine—then uses this foundation to pinpoint eight major distinctives that make the new atheism new, and to discuss the future of Christianity in relationship to it.”
Dr. Mohler is a true gift to God’s church. He is one of those rare people who can grasp the claims and presuppositions of the culture and accurately critique and bring the gospel to bear on them. I only wish he would write more!
Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World by C. J. Mahaney (editor)
“Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World uncovers the presence of worldliness – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has or does. Worldliness then reveals how Christians are to engage a fallen world and boldly preach the gospel, yet not be conformed and ultimately seduced by the system of this world.
Mahaney is one of those authors who writes with candor, humor, and best of all clear biblical teaching. Here, though, Mahaney is not writing, but bringing together other writers to addresses the very large problem of worldliness. I can’t wait to see what he’s put together for us.
Death By Love by Mark Driscoll and Gary Breshears
“Death by Love is a unique book on the cross of Jesus Christ. While many books debate the finer points of the doctrine of the atonement, what is often lost are the real-life implications of Jesus’ death on the cross for those who have sinned and have been sinned against. Written in the form of pastoral letters, Death by Love outlines the twelve primary effects of Jesus’ death on the cross and connects each to the life of a different individual.”
This book is based on Driscoll’s sermon series on the cross of Christ. Those sermons are free on his church’s website. (To give you some idea of these sermons, Driscoll preached on substitutionary atonement for an hour and half, and some dude stormed the stage to fight him over it. Reformed theology at its best!) Here it seems Driscoll is writing with a pastor’s heart, seeking to show the application of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to real life situations that many face and many pastors struggle to counsel.
The Letter to the Colossians and Philemon by Douglas Moo
“Exhibiting the same brilliant exegesis and sound practical insight found in his previous works, noted commentator Douglas J. Moo in this volume not only explains accurately the meaning of the letters to the Colossians and to Philemon but also applies that meaning powerfully to twenty-first-century readers.”
Douglas Moo has helped me understand Paul, James, and issues like the Law and Christian like few people have. He ranks among the best of biblical scholars and writes in an engaging way. This looks to be an excellent addition to the Pillar series and a fine commentary to go alongside O’Brien’s near-perfect entry in the Word series.
The Gospel Ministry by Thomas Foxcroft
“In this book, Foxcroft exhorts ministers to make Christ the focal point of their preaching. He shows the importance of character in ministry, calling for pastors to be wise and prudent in every aspect of their lives. Likewise, ministers are urged to visit with and know their flock, and busy themselves with attending the needs of their souls. Furthermore, ministers are reminded how their service to the Lord requires great diligence and should be supremely governed by a pursuit for the conversion and edification of men in Christ. This is a pertinent reminder that pastors are called to wait on the needs of the souls of men with the good news of Christ.“
Anything that helps pastors point people to Christ is worth reading. What makes this especially enticing is that it comes from Solid Deo Gloria – experts in sifting through the mounds of Puritan writings and publishing what’s best.
Teach Us to Pray by Timothy J. Beals
“Teach Us to Pray serves as a primer and a reader for those who long to begin or to enrich their prayer experience. By using essential selections from the Psalms and other Scripture passages as the foundation, editor Timothy Beals reveals God’s intentions for prayer, the patterns and occasions for prayer, and the unspeakable power of biblical prayer. This study will help readers understand the priority of prayer as revealed in Scripture, develop the habit of praying Scripture, and discover the power of praying God’s words back to him.”
Believe it or not, I’ve had this same book started on my laptop for about 3 years! I pitched it to my friend at the Basics Conference in 2005. He liked the idea, but marriage, children, ministry, and no publisher caused it to sit, and now another person is publishing the book. Good for him! I know nothing about Beals, but if he only comes close to the book’s description, then this will be a big help for a lot of people. (And he probably did a better job than I would have done.)
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of Christian Faith by TImothy J. Keller
“Many lifelong Christian believers feel they understand the basics of the Christian faith quite well and certainly don’t think they need a primer. Nevertheless, one of the signs that you don’t grasp the unique, radical nature of the gospel is that you think you do. Sometimes long-time church members find themselves so struck and turned around by a fresh apprehension of the Christian message of grace that they feel themselves to have been essentially ‘reconverted.’ This book, then, is written to both curious outsiders and established insiders of the faith, to both the people Jesus calls ‘younger’ and ‘elder’ brothers in his famous Parable of the Prodigal Son.”
Keller never ceases to impress me. His bible study material and sermons show a deep grasp of the truths of the gospel, and a sharp mind that can analyze the human heart. Taken together, he produces materials that present gospel in such a way as to transform lives.
Living for God’s Glory by Joel Beeke (editor)
“In this introduction to the doctrinal system known as Calvinism, Joel Beeke—with contributions from Sinclair Ferguson, Michael Haykin, Derek Thomas, Ray Pennings and others—displays the biblical, God-centered, winsome, comprehensive, and practical nature of Calvinism. Topics explored include Calvinism in history, in the mind, in the heart, in the church, in society, and more.”
Theology should not aim at producing Christians with large heads, but rather large hearts – with love for God and man. This seem like the kind of book that will accomplish that.
EDIT: When I first posted this, I forgot to include LINKS!!! That’s been fixed now :-)